The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(1,491 words)


1. The word ‘initiation’ derives from the Latin initium, ‘entry,’ which also denotes ‘introduction’ or, precisely, ‘initiation.’ With the Romans, initia became a term for participation in Mysteries (→ Antiquity). The concept generally denominates a series of ritual acts, behavioral precepts, and instructions, ‘staging’ and creation of a radical transformation of the social and religious status of an individual or group (→ Ritual). It can refer to such varied f…

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Brunotte, Ulrike, “Initiation”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 21 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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